Rochester’s tallest adopted son Igor Vovkovinskiy dies at 38

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According to a Facebook post from his mother, Svetlana Vovkovinska, Igor died of heart disease at 10:17 p.m. on Friday August 20 in a Rochester hospital.

Originally from Ukraine, Vovkovinskiy came to Rochester at the age of 7 for medical treatment. Eventually becoming known as America’s tallest man, Vovkovinskiy was 7 feet 8 inches tall.

In 2018, he appeared on the TV show “60 Minutes Australia” in a segment titled “Meet the tallest man in the world”. According to the program, Vovkovinskiy’s waistline was caused by a tumor pressing against his pituitary gland, causing him to continually release excess growth hormones.

Her doctor, Dr Gregory Garrison of the Mayo Clinic, described the extent of Vovkovinskiy’s condition for “60 minutes.”

“Unfortunately, it’s in a location that makes it impossible to completely remove the tumor,” Garrison said. “He’s unlikely to stop growing. We use drugs to try to slow down the effects of this growth hormone.”

Throughout his life, Vovkovinskiy had unique opportunities. According to IMDb, he appeared in the movie “Hall Pass” in 2011, “The Dr. Oz Show” in 2009, and the documentary “Inside Extraordinary Humans: The Science of Gigantism” in 2007.

In 2013, Vovkovinskiy made a cameo appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest. He dramatically carried the Ukrainian contestant, Zlata Ognevich, to the stage, wearing a lavish costume. During an interview for Eurovision Song Contest, Vovkovinskiy said his goal was to live in Los Angeles as an actor.

During that same interview, he briefly described his relationship with his mother.

“The person who has the most influence on me is definitely my mother,” Vovkovinskiy said. “Along the way, she was my inspiration to be successful in college and to try new and exciting things in life.”

Despite all the exposure he received, he also had to overcome unique challenges due to his size, such as finding shoes that would suit him.

In 2012, Vovkovinskiy received a pair of bespoke shoes from Reebok. At the time, his shoe size was 24.10E, which meant his options were incredibly limited. He said it was the first time in his life that he had more than one pair of shoes.

Rochester Magazine featured Vovkovinskiy in 2016. The interview covered many aspects of his life, such as his appearance in a movie, his love for his homeland, and his guilty pleasure song.

At the end, he answered the simple question “What did you learn?” ”

“People take everything for granted,” Vovkovinskiy said. “Even simple things. I can’t go anywhere with my friends in their cars. I can hardly go to someone’s house because I’m afraid of breaking their furniture. Their ceilings are low. Their doors are low. is about 24 hours a day. Sometimes it’s so bad I can’t do anything useful. I’m trying to think of something else. Read a book. Skype with my friends from Ukraine. … So , I think even the simple things in life, people should be more thankful. Most of all, you live in America. Really count your blessings. Really appreciate all the little things you have. “

For a selection of the previous coverage of Igor Vovkovinskiy’s Post Bulletin, see below:

Igor Vovkovinskiy and his mother, Svitlana, in 1989. At seven years old, Igo was 6 feet tall.  Publish the photo of the newsletter file

Igor Vovkovinskiy and his mother, Svitlana, in 1989. At seven years old, Igo was 6 feet tall. Publish the photo of the newsletter file

Svitlana Vovkovinskiy and her son, Igor, in 1990. Post Bulletin archive photo

Svitlana Vovkovinskiy and her son, Igor, in 1990. Post Bulletin archive photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy played junior varsity basketball at John Marshall High School in 1998. Post Bulletin file photo

Igor Vovkovinskiy, one of the tallest people in the world, has passed away.  In this PB file photo from October 18, 2012, Igor Vovkovinskiy talks with WCCO reporter Holly Wagner about his custom-made Reebok shoes - size 24 - at the Rochester Athletic Club.  Rochester-raised Vovkovinskiy made headlines again last weekend when he appeared at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, featuring Ukrainian entry Zlata Ognevich on stage.

Igor Vovkovinskiy, one of the tallest people in the world, has passed away. In this PB file photo from October 18, 2012, Igor Vovkovinskiy talks with WCCO reporter Holly Wagner about his custom-made Reebok shoes – size 24 – at the Rochester Athletic Club. Rochester-raised Vovkovinskiy made headlines again last weekend when he appeared at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, featuring Ukrainian entry Zlata Ognevich on stage.

Former Post Bulletin editor-in-chief Mike Dougherty, left, is pictured with Igor Vovkovinskiy wearing his size 24 Reebok shoes in 2012. Contribution / Mike Dougherty

Former Post Bulletin editor-in-chief Mike Dougherty, left, is pictured with Igor Vovkovinskiy wearing his size 24 Reebok shoes in 2012. Contribution / Mike Dougherty


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